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Dial in & Let's Talk! Martha's Talk is a Christian daytime talk show, in which Apostle Martha Milliner speak the truth, in love.

S2E7: Context, who the bible is speaking to, and when?

Thursday, October 22, 2020


Welcome to S2E7 of Martha's Talk! 
In today's episode, we are going to speak about who the bible is speaking to, and when. While some know me as Tasha, God changed my name to Martha. He also called me to be an Apostle. This simply means, that he commissioned me to go wherever he sends me to preach or teach the gospel, in truth and in love. Martha's Talk is a talk show in which I share the love of Christ for humanity, in Spirit and in Truth.

In today's episode we are going to go over:
  • Context
  • Holy Spirit, and Theology 
  • The Office of Teachers & Apostles (Ephesians 4)
  • In the New Testament, what was specifically for the disciples/apostles vs what is for all disciples, and those who are now apostles
Before continuing, I suggest that you check out S2E5 What is the point of church? and S2E2 Understanding the Bible.

Focus scripture:

  • 2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    • teaching
    • rebuking
    • correcting
    • training in righteousness
  • Romans 15:2-6 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is context, and how does it apply to the bible?

Context is defined as the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

  • Cultural context What was common in the culture of the days in the bible, that is not common in today's culture? 
    • Example: During the days of Jacob in Genesis, it was cultural for men to have more than one wife. Now-a-days, in established nations, it is not cultural. During the days of Jacob, God never condemned it. How come? Understanding the four periods of the bible would better help you understand this!
    • Does culture context, ever exempt commands in the bible?
  • Story-line context What is the author saying, in what was written or spoken?
    • For greater understanding: Imagine if you and I had a conversation, and then 10 minutes in, I stopped listening to you, and started to daydream about what I was going to wear on vacation. Then you asked me a question 15 minutes in, about what was said 10 minutes in. How would I respond? Should I ask you to repeat what was said during the 10 minutes I zoned out, or should I just presume/assume for the sake of answering your question. I give this example, to let you know what happens when we decide to skip chapters, or verses, and then read one verse to put together a sermon. 
    • Is it okay, to take a story out of it's context, to make a point, whether the point is accurate or not?
  • Language context Is there any way that the language and phrases used in a different language, in a different time, could possibly mean something totally different to us, now?
    • For example: Idioms, if in the first century, I said, break a leg, would they have known what that meant? Would we be able to identify first century idioms?

God's word's are spiritual, thus, we need the Holy Spirit to understand God's written and spoken words.

Theology is the study of God and religious beliefs. Theology is super helpful when it comes to understanding the context of the bible. However, theologians, who do not understand the importance of the leading of the Holy Spirit, when studying the word of God, will miss spiritual truths, as they explain how context plays a role in understanding scripture. 

  • Where is the first place we read about the Holy Spirit in the bible? Genesis 1:2, and the last place we read about the Holy Spirit in the bible? Revelation 22:17
  • What did Jesus Christ say before his heavenly ascension in Acts 1:4-6? "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 

The one constant, despite cultural differences is the truth; the written word of God (the bible), and the spoken word of God, who is God (the Holy Spirit). Theologians can be wrong, and non-theologians can be wrong. However, God's truth will always remain, and even within different cultural social constructs.

In Matthew 13, Jesus told the crowd and his disciples a parable, specifically the parable of the sower. Afterwards Jesus's disciples, asked why does he speak to the crowd in parables? Jesus responds by quoting Isaiah the prophet: "This is why I speak to them in parables:“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."

In order to understand the words in the Bible and understand how to apply the bible to our life, we will need the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is our helper, he is sent to guide us into all truth, tell us the things to come, and bring us into remembrance of all that Jesus Christ has said [John 16:13]. The words in the Bible are spiritual, because God is a Spirit. Therefore, when you read the word of God, you can read it in two ways and interpret it in two ways. The first way is the way God intends it to be read, which is spiritually. The second way is carnally. You will never understand God or how to interpret the bible correctly if you are not reading it spiritually. Which is why it's important to have the Holy Spirit. Anyone can read the bible, but not everyone will be able to understand it.

By reading John 6:63, John 1:14, John 4:24 we know that God is a Spirit, Jesus Christ's words are spirit and truth, and that Jesus is the living word. So when we read the word of God with a natural/carnal perspective, we will misunderstand & misinterpret it. When Jesus Christ used parables in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), he usually taught, did a miracle regarding what he taught, and then he usually spoke a parable to further explain what he taught and did (miracle). 

  • For example: In verse 12 of John chapter 8, Jesus taught the crowd and specifically told the crowd, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.Reference text: Isaiah 35:5, 42:7
    • In John 8, Jesus also has a conversation with the Pharisees about who he is, and where he came from because they claimed that Jesus was witnessing on his own behalf.
    • In John 9, Jesus performs a miracle in which he opened up the eyes of a blind man, and then in verses 39-41 Jesus tells the Pharisees "Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." Reference text: John 10:25, John 5:36
    • In John 10, Jesus tells the Pharisees, the parable of the good shepherd (figure of speech), which reads "Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them."
Thus, in the gospels we see over and over again, the spiritual explaining the natural. Side note: We also see Jesus fulfilling the book of the prophets, psalms, and the Law of Moses (Luke 24:44, Isaiah 35:5, 42:7).

The office of the teacher and the office of an apostle:
  • The best teacher that we have is God (John 14:26). God uses humans to partner with him, to get his will accomplished on the earth. 
  • In Ephesians 4:1-32, we know that Jesus Christ himself, gave the church five offices, and he gifted them and graced them to do what he wills for them and the church. 
    • The two offices, gifted and graced by God to stand in the office of teacher, are the apostle and the teacher.
    • Just like there is a huge difference between the office of an evangelist and the office of a teacher, we should also understand that the same applies to the office of a teacher and the office of a pastor.
      • When the Apostle Paul speaks about pastors being able to teach in 1 Timothy 3:2, it can be translated to mean teachable or qualified to teach. I believe it means teachable. 
      • 2 Timothy 4:2, in KJV says preach (khrussw) not teach. Thus, the Apostle Paul told Timothy the Evangelist to preach not teach. 
      • In Ephesians 4:11, the word for the office of a teacher in Hebrew is didaskaloj and it means instructor, a master, a doctor. This does not mean one has to have a doctorate or a master's in order to stand in the office of a teacher, rather it means they must be called by God and it is not the same as a Sunday school teacher (necessarily), nor should other offices teach, unless they are called by God to so. Demons are sent to encourage teachers to fall away from the faith and to teach bad doctrine. Teachers, like the other offices, has grace for the their calling, not other's calling, to overcome the schemes of the devil.
      • In 1 Timothy 3:2 the word teach in Hebrew is didaktoj and it can mean to be able to teach (but not as a teacher, see didaskaloj) but as one who can be taught. The latter is more likely.
In the New Testament, what was specifically for the disciples/apostles vs what is for all disciples, and those who are now apostles? How do we know when the bible is specifically speaking to Christians in the first century?

Let's answer the last question first, and the first question last. How do we know when the bible is specifically speaking to Christians in the first century?
  • The grace of God (Ephesians 4:7-8)
  • Reading the written word of God in chronological order
  • The Holy Spirit (1 John 2:25-28)
    • We have God living inside of us, to help us.
  • Notating, who is speaking, and to whom.
    • Is Jesus speaking to the righteous (e.g. someone who repented and believe(d) in Jesus, and or the disciples) or unrighteous (Pharisees, Sadducees, teachers of the Law during Jesus's time). 
      • We know when Jesus is speaking to the unrighteous (e.g. one who refuses to repent, does not believe in Jesus), that he is not speaking to those who believe in Jesus. Thus, he would not be speaking to a first-century believer or a 21st century believer.
    • Is Jesus speaking to people or someone, in which it is unknown whether they are righteous (believer) or unrighteous (unbeliever), like the crowd, in Matthew 13:34
      • I liken it, to Jesus evangelizing as thee apostle of our faith (Hebrews 3:1). In the verse that you are reading is Christ, Jesus teaching or preaching, so they can believe in him? Thus, when Jesus spoke the parable of the sower, was he speaking to the crowd to get them to believe? Based upon what is written in Matthew 12 we know that Jesus is speaking about unbelief, this lets me know that this crowd, already knew of Jesus and saw miracles he had performed but they still had unbelief. Thus, Matthew 13:11-16 was spoken to crowds that should have believed, who did not believe.
    • Is Jesus speaking to the 12 disciples/apostles? For example: Luke 8:22-23, is Jesus speaking to all of his disciples (from all centuries; first century/21st century or only his disciples that were with him at the time)?
      • For example: Matthew 28:19-20  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
        • This was specifically meant for the Apostles. However, the apostles were commissioned to teach their disciples, what Jesus taught them. To know what Jesus taught them, read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Thus, the Apostle Paul tells the five-fold (apostles, prophets, teacher, evangelist, and pastor) in Ephesians 4:1-32, how to fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 as a church, with 5 different leadership offices given to the church by Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament, what was specifically for the disciples/apostles vs what is for all disciples, and those who are now apostles?
  • Watch the Matthew's Bible Study
  • Matthew 28:19-20  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
    • This was specifically meant for the Apostles. However, the apostles were commissioned to teach their disciples, what Jesus taught them. To know what Jesus taught them, read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Thus, the Apostle Paul tells the five-fold (apostles, prophets, teacher, evangelist, and pastor) in Ephesians 4:1-32, how to fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 as a church, with 5 different leadership offices given to the church by Jesus Christ.
  • John 17:6-26
    • 6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."
    • John 17:20-26I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.

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